Thursday, March 18, 2010

Can I Trust You, God?

One of these days I'm going to learn to trust God. I know that sounds odd, but I have always had trust issues...too many times in my life that people have failed to live up to their promises or my expectations. And too many times I have allowed that to seep into my expectations of God.

I was reading a book today and the author was talking about trusting God. It seems like every time I am in a place of uncertainty and really need to trust God, I read a scripture or hear a song or read a book that reminds me.

Trust...why is that so hard for me? You see,
He's provided for me... so many times before;
He's directed me... so many times before;
He's caught many times before.
And yet, here I am again...
Wondering if maybe this time He won't.
Maybe this time, He's too busy.
Maybe this time...I'm not worth it.

Back to the started me pondering. God is HUGE! There is no way to describe His greatness, or imagine His greatness, or compare His greatness! There is nothing AS big as God, nor anything TOO big for God to overcome. That knowledge alone should be enough to appease all our cares, worries, anxieties, fears, questions, uncertainties...anything that comes our way.

But, the fear that comes my way...and yes, I'll call it what it is - that because He is so huge, maybe I'm too insignificant to be of His concern. Maybe...

My concerns
My unfulfilled desires
My financial needs
My forks in the road
My wishes, my hopes, my dreams...
Maybe for God, they are just too small to be bothered with.
Or, maybe they aren't!

In the spring of 2005, I bought a lilac tree. It was a beautiful little bush with deep purple blooms. In the spring of 2006, it didn't bloom much. I was afraid I had killed it! You see, I'm not very good with plant life. But the lady at the nursery told me that when they are transplanted it will take them a year or two to bloom again. By 2007 the blooms had doubled and in the spring of 2008, it was loaded with fragrant purple blossoms. I loved this little lilac bush.

In the fall of 2008 we had to move. I really hated leaving that little tree, but we didn't know where we would be moving, so I had to leave it. The house we eventually moved into had lots of trees in the back yard, but since it was the end of fall, they were all "leaf-less" and I had no idea what kind they were. Remember, I'm plant-challenged.

One rainy morning in the spring of 2009, I was getting my youngest son off to school. As I looked out the back window, feeling bad that he would have to walk to the bus stop in the rain, I saw something....a purple blossom. I stood and stared and said, out loud..."No way! Would God really do that for me?"  After I prayed with my son and sent him out the door, I went to the back window and looked again. It certainly looked like a lilac blossom, but I wasn't sure.

So, still in my pajamas, I ran out in the rain and cut off a blossom. Up close, it still looked like a lilac. But, I just couldn't believe it. Honestly, I was afraid to believe it. So I looked up a picture on the internet and compared them. "I really think this is a lilac!" And the tears began to flow....

Would God really do that for me?
Did He really care that much, 
that He would give me a lilac tree?
After the hard places I had been in the previous year...
the simple gift of a lilac tree?

As I stood there in the kitchen and continued to look outside, I noticed something else....a white blossom in the tree right next to the purple lilac. I've always wanted a white lilac tree! Could it be? Another trip out into the rain....

Would God really do that for me?
Did He really care that much, 
that He would give me another lilac tree?
A white lilac tree?

It was more than I could contain at that moment. I went upstairs to get dressed and begin my day, all the while amazed that God had done this thing for me. After making up the bed and straightening the room, I went over and pulled up the blinds...I just had to see those two trees one more time.

What is that?
No couldnt' be!!!
One, two, three...four....FIVE!
I have five lilac trees in the back yard!

Would God really do that for me?
Did he really care that much, 
that He would give me five lilac trees?

Yes...He did. Such a small thing. To think that the God of the universe knew how much I loved my little lilac tree. He knew that I always wanted a white one to go with the purple one I had. He knew that when we moved I would miss that tree. And long before I was aware of it....He provided a house with not one, not two, but five lilac trees...two of them, white.
God is huge. There is no way to describe His greatness, or imagine His greatness, or compare His greatness! There is nothing AS big as God, nor anything TOO big for God to overcome.

And there is nothing too small for Him to care about.

Can I trust You, God? Can I rest in the knowledge that You have my best interests in mind? Can I believe that You are able to do more than I could ever ask or imagine? Can I trust You with the big things as well as the small ones?

Yes, I believe I can!

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
 but we trust in the name of the LORD our God."
Psalm 20:7

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

His Handiwork...

"The heavens declare the glory of God 
and the firmament showeth His handiwork."
Psalm 19:1
This is one of the first verses I remember memorizing when I was a young girl in Missionettes. It is the King James Version and I'm pretty sure I had no idea what it meant at the time. Even that long ago, no one used the word "firmament"...what is the firmament? The NIV translation uses the word "sky". 
So, the heavens declare God's glory....
and the sky shows his handiwork.
I love nature and creation. It's one of the most obvious places I "see" God. On a beautiful clear night, away from city lights, I love to look up at the sky and see the countless stars. Or on a warm summer night stand on the beach and watch the sunset. The amazing colors that the setting sun can create as it disappears over the horizon. What about when a storm is brewing and the dark and angry looking clouds begin to gather? The various shapes and shades of gray...
God's glory....His handiwork.
I think my favorite chapter in the Bible is Isaiah 40. The entire chapter speaks of the incomparable greatness of God. But in verse 22, it says,    
"He stretches out the heavens like a canopy"
Then verse 26 goes on...
"Lift your eyes and look to the heavens.
Who created all of these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,  
and calls them each by name.  
Because of his great power and mighty strength, 
not one of them is missing."
He brings out the starry by one. He calls them by name.    
And if that isn't amazing enough...He knows if one is missing. 
But, these are just stars....made up of rocks and gases.  
Yet still, they are the glory of God...
His handiwork...
Tonight, both of these scriptures came to my mind during worship. 
And I think what overwhelmed me the most was realizing that if God, 
the Creator of the universe, Maker of heaven and earth, 
cares that much about the stars, 
which are just made of rock and gas... 
how much more must He care for me!
You see, in the beginning,  God said,   
"Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness..."  
And though man was formed from the dust of the earth, God 
"breathed into his nostrils the breath of life". 
The very breath of God entered into man.
So not only was he created in His image, in His likeness, 
but the very breath of God is what gave him life. 
A part of God entered into him. 

So, while God spreads out the canopy of the night sky, 
and brings out the stars one by one, 
and He calls them by name, 
and is fully aware if one is missing...
it's still just a star made of rock and gas. 
A reflection of His glory...
an example of His handiwork. 
But, just a star.
And what I became overwhelmingly aware of tonight was this...
I am created in His image, 
I am created in His likeness;
I have the very breath of God ...
the Spirit of God...
in me!
I, too, am His handiwork!

And, oh how He loves me!

He knows the stars by name...
But my name is engraved on His hand.
He knows if a star is missing...
But He comes looking for me when I am lost....
He gave His life for me!

Oh, how He loves me!